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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Highlite of Joiyssey TONITE!!!! to be continued

If I never have another experience on my Joiyssey, I will be satisfied. You will not believe how I spent the afternoon and evening today!

First, after returning from La Cruz, I find the dirt road next to the restaurant and behind the buildings the border the beach – where I walked thru the ocean the other day. I ride my bike to the end of the buildings to the one that appears to be a home but could also be the museum.

I am not sure until a man comes out and I ask if this is the tortuga museum. Anthony has been bouncing a volleyball on the porch but seems okay to stop and give me a tour.

The first building, painted a bright yellow, has a large front room with styrofoam boxes missing their lids but crawling with baby turtles! I’m in love!!!! There is a kitchen table and chairs in this room and I can see smaller rooms with maybe a bathroom and bedrooms.

I find out later this is where the biologist Iben lives as well as the other biologists Joanna and Jesus. I think Anthony lives elsewhere.

Anthony tells me these turtles are ready to leave, to go back to the ocean and they will bring them to the beach this evening.

He then takes me outside to part of the yard that has skinny, 2 foot planks sticking out of the sand with wooden crates resting against them. He says here are the eggs of the tortugas – eggs they have collected on the beach and moved here, to safety – away from both human and animal predators.

There must be 5 rows of 10 or 15 crates each. He tells me each tortuga lays 100 eggs at a time, mostly from June until October and it takes 45 days for the eggs to hatch into little turtles.

Anthony examines the sand under some of the crates and finds one that is a little caved in. he brushes away the sand and sure enough, there are turtles churning about. We take three of them back into the house.

He shows me the large yogurt containers that are stacked up next to the styrofoam. Inside are turtles wrapped in white cloth – these are the incubators I think, maybe turtles whose eggs have cracked before they were supposed to?

Then off we go to the museum where the life and times of the tortuga is laid out in brilliant colors and informative displays.

Jesuses abound

So I meet yet another Jesus – but he goes by Iben, his middle name. He rides my favorite (sarcasm here) dung buggy up to where I’m sitting on the wall studying Spanish.

He does not understand I only have two names. He wants to know what happened to all my other names and what was my father’s name? I don’t say in the same place as my husband’s name – I simply say I have only the feminine names I have been given, none of the masculine names.

Iben , it turns out, also works with the tortugas helping to protect and save them. He is a marine biologist so I can forgive him the dung buggy for now. He has to patrol the beach, which is several miles long, watching for turtle and turtle egg poachers, as well as rescuing turtle eggs themselves.

Iben and I have a long conversation. He has left his dung buggy and sat down next to me on the wall. He has two siblings that live in California but he cannot get a visa to go visit them. We talk about how hard it is for Mexicans in California, and family that is here.

How hard it is for Mexicans to get a visa to visit the u.s. as I waltz across the border – as many times as I want.

Another young man joins us. I think I have seen him walking around but he’s never spoken with me. His name is, guess what, Jesus! And he goes by Jesus.

It is not apparent they know each other, but Jesus and Iben speak rapidly and I think Iben is bringing Jesus up to speed. Isn’t it funny how I can understand one or two words in a sentence and get the meaning – or think I understand.

We talk about wars and violence. And drug violence here. I think Iben says someone has been shot, executed from the looks of his hand motions, recently close by – which is why the soldiers were here. Jesus just nods.

I try to find out more, if the drugs are meth, as in Yavaros, if the soldiers are part of the problem, how the mega-farms are impacting the people, but my Spanish isn’t good enough. And I don’t want to ask too many questions and be misunderstood, so for now, I let it go.

Iben wants to know about work in the u.s. What can I say, besides spelling out for them how much money we spend every day on war. They are shocked. Iben asks over and over if I’m talking pesos or u.s. dollars? A year or a day?

It is shocking again and again. And the amount has probably gone up, but once you get passed 100,000, who can really imagine the money going into someone’s pockets, lots of someones – but not the majority of the people.

How can I talk about people losing their homes, their jobs, the economy stressed because of war spending, let alone the people we are killing the earth we are destroying the life we are forever losing.

But we speak of it somehow and we understand I think – he uses the words planet and world, and love and caring. I thank him for the work he does, saving the tortugas.

I show Iben & Jesus pictures of Tessie and the baby. Iben has to go to work, so he leaves Jesus and I holding the photos.

Jesus can talk now. He wants to know if we have husbands, my daughter & I. I say “of course not”, “desde luego NO” and “no desde luego” because I have just learned “desde luego” and hope adding a “no” makes it negative!

I try to explain the father is not around, he’s a flake, a man choosing to be deprived of his wonderful son, a turd, an irresponsible asshole  – but of course, I don’t have those Spanish words in my vocabulary yet despite Yarida promising to teach me how to speak bad in Spanish. We didn’t get past “fuck”.

And it looks like Jesus hasn’t either. He takes off his sun glasses, wipes his eyes, and tells me he has two mujeres, a wife and a girl friend.  Actually he is talking so fast now, he could have more than 2.

He sorta laughs when he says ‘novia’, which could be equivalent to girl friend or betrothed, as if he is saying it out loud for the first time.

He has already told me he has two children, one 5 years old, a boy, and a girl who is one year and 8 months.

Now I think he is telling me one of his women – I can’t figure out which one, but I think it is not the wife – is pregnant, 6 months, and his wife doesn’t know, about the gf or the preggers. Hmmmm.

I tell him my daughter is a single mom, as I was. I try to ask if his mom was single or if his dad was around when he was little. He doesn’t answer me.

I tell him my daughter is 40 years old and competent and capable, and a wonderful mom. He appears shocked. He looks at her picture and says she looks 20 – and I look 40! We keep getting younger and younger, these guys in Mexico!

His eyes fill again when I ask him what is he going to do. He might be in his mid 20s. He tells me he doesn’t know.

I try to find ‘birth control’ in my old dictionary but it is not there – along with curse words, it probably wouldn’t be in a new dictionary either. Then I think it is just the latter part he needs, the “control” part.  Geez – all these Jesuses making up for the supposed life of celibacy that first jesus had!

I tell him at this point, he needs to be a good father. I don’t know how to say of course if he was a good father he would respect and cherish his children’s mother – at the very least. And if he is a good father he would not have more children than he is able to care for let alone afford.

I can’t believe I’m sitting at the Pacific Ocean having this conversation with this young man.

Time for him to get back to work and me to head out on my bicicleta to La Cruz!

Early morning visitors

This morning, as I jog into the rising sun, I notice a man out in front of the now unlocked bathroom, stamping on tin cans. I come up behind him, calling out ‘hola’ so as to not startle him. He smiles and waves ‘hola’ as if he knew I was there all along.

I jog down the dirt road behind the restaurants to extend my run to 30 minutes, and another man, his back turned to me, is working on his nets. He nods and greets me without startling.

On my way back, I large heavy man dressed in office finery has opened the fence into a yard and is peering inside, hands on hips, back to me. I think, okay a city folk, and greet him. He smiles and waves again as if he knew I was coming.

I get back to my truck, make coffee, and take out my bike from the way back without too much difficulty. One of the men I’ve greeted, has walked down to my end of the beach and is kind of making a circle from one side of the road to the other. He is singing a tune. He must know I’m one of those estadounidense who might startle.

He invite him over & he tells me he’s the one crushing cans at the other end of the beach, in case I forgot him. He tells me he gets 20 pesos a kilometer for cans, which doesn't seem like much to me but I don't say so. We talk about how there's no deposit or refund for glass bottles and how bad that is for the beach, the animals, and the children.

We talk the usual that I think/hope I’m getting better at, how beautiful, how peaceful, no violence, traveling sola, no esposo, don’t want one, San Francisco, Venezuela, Jesus, Xan.

He tells me he has a restaurant by the bathrooms and to come eat.. I point to my truck and me and say mi concina, mi comida. He smiles knowingly and tells me this weekend, there will be lots of people here.

Oh joy. Maybe I’m head early to San Ignacios, that seems to be on a river inland.

As I’m clumsily remembering my bike riding abilities, another man rides up on his bike. Another Jesus. Creative baby naming hasn’t reached Mexico yet.

He tells me – I think – there is a museum for tortugas down the beach, where I walked the other day, and he works there. He says I should come in the afternoon and he’ll show me around. I readily agree and off he goes.

I’m going to study my Spanish and then ride my bike into La Cruz so I can post.